Olive and herb focaccia is made quicker than the traditional recipe with a few easy adjustments. This Italian bread is full of fresh herbs, cured olives, and tons of flavor!Jump to Recipe
Easy rosemary focaccia
Focaccia was such a normal thing to find in any grocery store (and on my dinner table) that I had no idea it was unique to Italian cuisine until I was almost in my adulthood. True story.
This Italian bread is slightly sweet, salty, and topped with all kinds of fun things like olives, fresh herbs, cheese, tomatoes, asparagus, etc. Once the dough is stretched on a baking sheet, you will poke holes in it using your fingertips.
Olive oil is drizzled onto the bread, along with coarse sea salt. The bread is super delicious with soups, pasta, salads, meaty dishes, ok.. you get it.. basically everything.
I love focaccia, but my time is really spread thin between all my kids, chickens, dogs, and home projects. I needed this bread to be ready to eat in 2 hours, max! I learned a few things along the way to make this happen, and I can wait to share my favorite tips with you.
Just picture it- Sicily, 1922. Kidding, but just imagine a huge bowl of pasta, topped with the best veal and pork meatballs and a fresh marinara sauce. The warm focaccia comes in to sop up all the sauce… and now my mouth is watering.
Olive and herb focaccia recipe ingredients
- Bread flour- Bread flour has more protein than all-purpose flour, which means it will produce a more dense and heavier loaf of bread. You can absolutely use all-purpose flour in place of bread flour, but your focaccia might be lighter and less dense.
- Instant dry yeast- This ingredient is key to making this easy and quick focaccia recipe. You will skip the proofing time regular yeast needs to activate. Instead, you will simply combine everything at once in your stand mixer and get to making your bread!
- White sugar- Focaccia has a very light sweetness thanks to just a hint of sugar. You can use honey in place of sugar if you would like.
- Olive oil- Use a good quality olive oil that smells bold and tastes it, too. My favorite brand is California Olive Ranch, which can be found in most grocery stores.
- Salt– You will need two different salts for this recipe. One salt will go in the actual bread, so it needs to be fine. The other salt will be sprinkled on top of the bread, so look for nice coarse sea salt.
- Herbs- Use any fresh herbs you like, but my personal selection included rosemary, spicy oregano, and thyme.
- Cured olives- Cured olives with olive oil are bold in flavor and add a delicious flavor to the bread.
- Use lots of olive oil. This dough is super sticky, so put olive oil on your hands before you handle it. Put olive oil on your fingertips when you poke holes in the focaccia so they bread does not stick to you. You’ll use the olive oil in the recipe, to oil the bowl, and to oil your hands, so be prepared with lots and lots of it!
- Add more flavors. You can add roasted garlic, different fresh herbs, goat cheese, parmesan cheese, etc. This bread is fun to make and flexible in flavor, so explore your palate and see what you like!
- Shape it how you want! You can use a half sheet pan to make it, or you can shape the dough into a round bread for a thicker loaf. Personally, I like thinner focaccia because it’s easier to sop up sauce with.
How to make olive and herb focaccia
Make the dough.
This step is so easy! Since we are using instant rise yeast, there is no need to proof the yeast. Add all the ingredients to the stand mixer and kneed the dough on low speed for 10 minutes to activate the gluten. Add 1 tablespoon of flour at a time if needed until the dough comes away from the sides of the mixing bowl, but keep in mind this is a wet, sticky dough.
Allow the dough to rise.
Grab a large bowl and oil it with about 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Oil your hands as well to avoid the dough from sticking. Place the dough in the oiled bowl, then turn the dough so the oil coats it. Place a wet kitchen towel over the bowl and place it in a draft free, warm place for 45 minutes. Once the dough has doubled in size, punch it down.
Shape the focaccia.
Lightly oil the bottom and sides of a half sheet baking pan and your hands. Place the focaccia dough on the baking sheet and stretch the dough so it fills the pan. If the dough recoils, allow it to rest for a few minutes, then stretch again. The dough will be about 1 inch thick throughout the bread. Place the sheet pan in a turned-off oven and allow it to rise for 30 minutes.
Top the focaccia.
Once the focaccia has risen in the sheet pan, top it with your favorite toppings. First, oil your hands, then poke small holes in the dough. Don’t poke holes all the way through, just enough to make a solid indent. Drizzle more olive oil on the focaccia. Finely chop the herbs, then sprinkle them all over the bread. You can use coarse sea salt for a beautiful finished look.
Bake the focaccia.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the focaccia in the oven and bake for 30 minutes until it’s golden brown. Cut the focaccia into squares and serve!
How to store focaccia
Like most homemade bread, this focaccia probably won’t last long in your home. It’s just so delicious! If you do happen to have leftovers, you can place them in an airtight container on the counter. This bread will stay good for 2-3 days.
What to serve with olive and herb focaccia
- Fresh heirloom tomatoes and basil straight from the garden gives this classic Italian pasta sauce a fresh and delicious flavor!
- Butternut squash stuffed shells with Italian sausage and a creamy sage sauce is the perfect fall meal! Each bite has layers of flavor that makes this the ultimate comfort food!
- This Red Wine Pasta Sauce is full of robust flavors, making this sauce a meal in itself! This simple 10 ingredient sauce will have you swearing off canned sauce for good! Bold red wine, Italian herbs, and a pinch of honey makes this sauce an absolute hit!
- This easy penne alla vodka with prosciutto is made with al dente penne pasta that is tossed in a delicious tomato, vodka, and cream sauce. Top this easy and classic Italian pasta dish with some parmesan cheese for a delicious dinner!
- Fresh squeezed lemon and garden picked basil light up this fresh spaghetti squash meal! Drizzled olive oil with a hint of garlic and creamy ricotta cheese accents the nutty flavor of the squash, giving this dish layers of flavor!
More Backyard Bohemian classics
- Italian Vegetables
- Creamy Lobster Pasta
- Italian Anise Cookies
- Prosciutto Wrapped Parmesan Green Bean Bundles
- Turkey Pozole
Easy Olive and Herb Focaccia
Olive and herb focaccia is made quicker than the traditional recipe with a few easy adjustments. This Italian bread is full of fresh herbs, cured olives, and tons of flavor!
- 3 3/4 – 4 cups bread flour
- 1 1/2 cup warm water roughly 110 degrees
- 2 tsp instant rise yeast
- 4 tsp white sugar
- 1 tbsp salt
- 6 tbsp olive oil plus more for drizzling
- 1/4 cup cured olives pitted and halved
- 1/4 cup fresh herbs rosemary, thyme, and oregano
- 1 tsp coarse sea salt
Make the dough. Combine the water, yeast, sugar, salt, olive oil, and bread flour in a stand mixer with the dough hook attachment. Combine the dough on low speed and kneed it for ten minutes. If the dough is too wet, add 1 tablespoon of flour at a time until it comes away from the sides of the bowl. This dough will be wet and sticky.
Rise the dough. Oil a large bowl and place the dough in it. Turn the dough over so all surfaced will be oiled. Place a wet kitchen towel over the bowl and place it in a draft-free warm place. Allow the dough to rise for 45 minutes. Once the dough has doubled, punch it down.
Shape the focaccia. Oil a half sheet pan, then put oil on your hands. Place the dough on the half sheet, then begin to stretch the dough so it fills the pan. If the dough recoils, allow it to rest for a few minutes, then continue stretching it. The dough will be about 1/2 inch thick. Place the half sheet in a turned off oven and allow it to rise for 30 minutes until it is 1 inch thick.
Top the focaccia. Take the sheet pan out of the oven, then place olive oil on your finger tips. Gently poke holes in the focaccia so it creates indents, but do not poke holes entirely through the dough. Drizzle more olive oil on the top of the focaccia, then sprinkle chopped olives and herbs. Finish with corase sea salt.
Bake the focaccia. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the sheet pan in the oven and bake for 30-40 minutes, until the focaccia is golden brown. Remove from the oven, slice it with a sharp knife, and serve immediatly. Mangia!
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